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Bombers Strike Across Iraq

A suicide car bomb struck an Iraqi police patrol Wednesday in Mosul, killing at least two people and wounding four in the second attack this week in the northern city, police said.

A restaurant also was devastated in an explosion on a central square in the capital as sporadic attacks nationwide killed at least fifteen people.

About 1,500 Iraqi soldiers, meanwhile, fanned out near Muqdadiyah, a volatile town in Diyala province about 60 miles northeast of Baghdad, to clear the area of insurgents, Brig. Gen. Ahmed al-Awad said.

The commander said four cars and a motorcycle packed with explosives had been seized and 14 suspected insurgents detained since the operation began on Tuesday. Al-Awad also said two kidnapped civilians had been released.

U.S. and Iraqi forces also raided a hospital that was suspected of being used as an insurgent base in the western city of Ramadi.

The Saddam Hospital has been used as a launching pad for mortar attacks and sniper fire against coalition forces, as well as violence against Iraqi civilians, the military said.

"The hospital has also been the scene of murders and intimidation against the people of Ramadi by terrorists," U.S. Col. Sean MacFarland, commander of coalition forces in the volatile area, said in a statement.

In other developments:

  • A car bomb killed six people and wounded 14 Wednesday in northwestern Baghdad, police said. The blast occurred in mid-afternoon about 300 yards from a Sunni mosque. The neighborhood has a mixed Sunni-Shiite population and the target was unclear.
  • A bomb struck the busy Tayaran Square in central Baghdad, reducing a restaurant near a bus stop to a pile of rubble. Two people were killed and 10 wounded in that explosion, Lt. Bilal Ali said.
  • Iraqi police in eastern Baghdad found the body of a man who was shot in the head, Lt. Raad Abdul-Hussein said.
  • Kidnappers of Tayseer al-Mashhadani, a Sunni legislator, have demanded the release of all detainees, a timetable for the withdrawal of foreign troops and an end to attacks on Shiite mosques in exchange for her freedom, an Iraqi vice president said Wednesday. Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi, a Sunni and the party's leader, said "we believe she is alive."
  • Slain terror leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi has been buried in an undisclosed location, the U.S. military and Iraqi government officials said Sunday. Iraqi National Security Adviser Mouwafak al-Rubaie told The Associated Press that al-Zarqawi had been buried in a "secret location" in Baghdad. The U.S. military confirmed the burial but declined to give more details.
  • The Iraqi government released a list of its 41 most-wanted people. The largest reward was $10 million for Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, a former top official in the Saddam regime. The list also includes Saddam Hussein's wife and oldest daughter.

  • The coalition security forces began searching the hospital in the northern half of the city early Wednesday, the military said, adding that the operation had national and local government approval and was being led by the Iraqi army.

    The bomb that struck the police patrol in Mosul killed a police officer and a civilian and wounded a policeman and three civilians, Capt. Ahmed Khalil said. A parked car bomb struck a market in the city on Monday, killing seven people and wounding 28.

    A roadside bomb also struck a car carrying members of a private security company in Kirkuk, 180 miles north of Baghdad, killing one person and wounding three others. Firefighters arriving at the site to help also were hit by a roadside bomb, which wounded two of them, Col. Nashat Shawish said.

    Elsewhere in the capital, gunmen killed an employee of the Dora refinery in a drive-by shooting, while an intelligence captain in the Interior Ministry was seriously wounded when gunmen opened fire on his car in the volatile neighborhood, according to Lt. Maithem Abdul-Razzaq.

    Gunmen in a speeding car also opened fire on a Shiite family as they were walking to the market in a southwestern neighborhood in the capital, killing a 12-year-old boy and wounding his brother and two other relatives, he said.

    A roadside bomb missed a police patrol in eastern Baghdad but killed one civilian and wounded four others, Maj. Mahir Mohammed said.

    A bomb hidden in a bag also exploded in a market in central Baghdad, wounding seven people, Ali said.

    The violence came amid mounting outrage over allegations that a group of U.S. soldiers raped a young Iraqi woman, then killed her and her family in Mahmoudiya, south of Baghdad.

    Iraqi lawmakers have blasted the United States over the case, with two women legislators on Tuesday calling for Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to be summoned to parliament to give assurances that justice would be done in the March 12 slaying of four members of a family in Mahmoudiya. A teenaged girl was allegedly raped before she was slain.

    Former Pfc. Steven D. Green was charged Monday with murder and rape. At least four other U.S. soldiers still in Iraq are under investigation, and the military has stressed it is taking the allegations seriously.

    Justice Minister Hashim Abdul-Rahman al-Shebli, a Sunni Arab, denounced the purported attack as "monstrous and inhuman" and called on the U.N. Security Council "to stop these violations of human rights."

    The two lawmakers, Safiya al-Suhail and Ayda al-Sharif, said condemnation was not enough.

    "We demand severe punishment for the five soldiers involved," al-Sharif said. "Denouncements are not enough. If this act has taken place in another country, the world would have turned upside down."

    The March 12 attack on the Sunni Arab family in Mahmoudiya, 30 20 miles south of Baghdad, was among the worst in a series of cases of U.S. troops accused of killing and abusing Iraqi civilians.

    The case came to light last week as al-Maliki's new government was seeking to promote its national reconciliation program, a key step in the U.S. strategy to transfer security responsibility to the Iraqis so U.S. and other coalition forces can go home.